when I was an EMT in the prison ~ poetry by Ron Riekki


a prisoner spit at me
and I stopped
and he looked at me
like I was
a vulture
and he was
a corpse
and I would
just keep walking
but the spit
my arm
and so I looked
at it
when he
was looking at me
and I looked up
and the prison,
I found,
was all about looking
because that was one of the only
where they could find
and I said,
I’m here
to save your life
and I said,
I risk
my life
to try to save
your lives.
And he
was in a cell
and he
was speaking through
the hole
where he got food,
the hole
he spit at me
and he
stood up
and the glass
muffled his words
and he said,
if we
don’t want
our lives

Ron Riekki’s books include Blood/Not Blood Then the Gates (Middle West Press, poetry), My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press, hybrid), Posttraumatic (Hoot ‘n’ Waddle, nonfiction), and U.P. (Ghost Road Press, fiction).  Right now, Riekki’s listening to U2’s “Numb.”

Show Ron some love via PayPal at karnjer(at)hotmail(dot)com.